New Build - which services to support
Assuming a large teenage cohort, what will happen in schools and colleges over the next few years to make best use of forthcoming technology ? I can see finger print type security (if the pc brigade let it happen) and some forms of mobile technology and more use of MLEs /VLEs. But what do we really want - that is what services do the students and teachers want that we should be steering them towards ? A blank canvas question I guess and assuming a brand new network.
Re: New Build - which services to support
This is a really difficult question you've raised as it depends on which point of view you're coming from and how much influence you have. Are you an NM, techie, head teacher or BSF consultant?
Having been to a meeting of IT staff and the council bods responsible for laying down the ground rules for the BSF bids this afternoon, and having met with two representatives of a large company already undertaking the provision of managed services to several regions of the UK last Friday morning, I can see there's already a long way to go until the two meet. However, this doesn't mean you should do nothing to try and get your voice heard.
What our council wants is biometric technology, mobile technology and an MLE/PLE amongst a host of other things. The head teachers are a hard-headed bunch, but quite often feel out of their depth when it comes to IT. Fortunately, some of them recognize that taking along their NM to these meetings can be useful, though there's still a lot of perceived secrecy.
If I can give you a couple of examples from this afternoon; Schools will have a local choice fund (between 10%-20% of the school budget) to reflect their own specialism/priorities, and a Learning Platform - fully functional to at least BECTA specification and incorporating MIS data (existing content and data will be migrated in). This suggests to me that schools will eventually have no say in their choice of Learning Platform.
In the case of our secondary schools, this presents a problem in that the council will announce tomorrow (Friday) what its choice of Learning Gateway for primary schools will be. If it’s the one that I’ve been told (off the record) it will be, then it doesn’t incorporate a VLE, this has to be provided separately. However, the company I spoke with on Friday morning about their idea of a managed service are in partnership with another VLE provider, and I get the impression that several heads will push for this company to run IT provision in our LEA’s secondary schools.
I’m not trying to put you off your wish list/blue skies thinking here, but just want to give you some sort of insight into the sort of powerplay which goes on behind the scenes.
I hope you are in a position to exert some influence on the decision making process, and don’t lose sight of who should benefit from this, the pupils.